Two weeks ago, the Chabad community was blessed with a windfall – not of cash, or other material asset, but of 33 quality mechanchim, teachers and educators in the Lubavitch school system in North America.

The Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) graduation ceremony recognized both new and veteran teachers who spent a year improving themselves as educators. Come fall, they will be in our classrooms, changing children’s lives for the better.

The event held on 14 Sivan – June 12th recognized graduates of this and last year’s Teacher Induction Program, an intensive training and mentoring program for new teachers, as well as teachers who participated on Inquiry Teams to sharpen their skills and reach every student.

In addition, while they were not present at the graduation, 5 new teachers in Bais Rivkah Elementary School in Crown Heights also participated in the Teacher Induction Program for women, which will expand to include teachers in other schools for next year.

The evening was chaired by Rabbi Zelig Silber, director of Teacher Induction, with Rabbi Yossi Simpson, principal of Lubavitch Yeshiva and member of MEF’s executive committee, addressing the crowd.

After reading a letter of the Rebbe on the importance of professional development, he emphasized how much the Teacher Induction Program has transformed the landscape of Chinuch, by raising the bar for what he can expect from new teachers.

The graduates themselves presented a synopsis of their year’s curriculum. Rabbi Shmuel Goldman of MEF, who arranged the event, was wowed. “These young men were articulating high level skills and strategies,” he said. “These are professional mechanchim!”

Rabbi Eli Phillips represented his classmates by sharing a few words, and each graduate received a diploma. Certificates were given to the Inquiry Program participants as well. In addition to local teachers, the Inquiry Program included teachers from Cheder Chabad of Philadelphia, who were able to participate thanks to a generous grant from the Kohelet Foundation.

Kohelet’s Holly Cohen Medvin and her husband were there to pick up the certificates and bring them back to Philadelphia.

Rabbi Zalman Shneur, MEF’s founder and executive director, thanked the Kohelet Foundation for their visionary support of quality education. “I just hope that every Chabad school can have a partner like the Kohelet Foundation,” he said.

Rabbi Shneur also thanked Mr. Alan Zekelman, an unflagging partner in MEF’s vision and efforts, and Daniel Kahalani for funding the critical mentorship aspect of the Teacher Induction Program.

He then turned to the graduates, referring to them as “the best of the best” of our community. “I am so humbled to be standing before this group of people who are so dedicated to Chinuch, as they embark on their Shlichus.”

Currently, MEF alumni have a more than 90% retention rate in schools throughout North America and beyond. With 33 new graduates bringing quality education to their classrooms, and an average of 15 students per class, we are talking about close to 500 additional students who will be touched by this program each year.

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The Graduates:

INQUIRY PROGRAM 5774: Meir Perelstein, Yehoshua Samuels, Eli Sandhaus, Dovid Marozov, Zalman Raskin, Meilich Bronstein, Mendy Levin, Odelia Bronstein, Miriam Gerber, Blumie Gurevitz

TEACHER INDUCTION PROGRAM 5774: Aharon Chazan, Shimmy Gerlitzky, Zev Greenwald, Yekusiel Goldstein, Dov Ber Blau, Moishe Gurevitz, Eliezer Phillips, Yossi Reizes, Yaakov Backman, Shneur Zalman Marshall, Shneur Zalman Horowitz

TEACHER INDUCTION PROGRAM – BAIS RIVKAH 5774: Shainie Denburg, Shaina Avtzon, Raizy Lein, Miri Stolik, Altie Itkin

TEACHER INDUCTION PROGRAM 5773: Yitzchok Klein, Chaim Lipzsyc, Yosef Yitzchok Schtroks, Menachem Shusterman, Yaakov Akiva Steinmetz, Shneur Zalmen Wilhelm, Zalman Shimon Wircberg, Menachem Mendel Hasdi

MEF congratulates its graduates, and all those who make Chinuch their Shlichus. Applications are now being accepted for next year.

For more information about Teacher Induction and other programs, visit www.mymef.org or contact [email protected] / 718-663-7215.